The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing (Hardcover)

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing By Michael J. Mauboussin Cover Image

The Success Equation: Untangling Skill and Luck in Business, Sports, and Investing (Hardcover)


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"Much of what we experience in life results from a combination of skill and luck." -- From the Introduction

The trick, of course, is figuring out just how many of our successes (and failures) can be attributed to each--and how we can learn to tell the difference ahead of time.

In most domains of life, skill and luck seem hopelessly entangled. Different levels of skill and varying degrees of good and bad luck are the realities that shape our lives--yet few of us are adept at accurately distinguishing between the two. Imagine what we could accomplish if we were able to tease out these two threads, examine them, and use the resulting knowledge to make better decisions.

In this provocative book, Michael Mauboussin helps to untangle these intricate strands to offer the structure needed to analyze the relative importance of skill and luck. He offers concrete suggestions for making these insights work to your advantage. Once we understand the extent to which skill and luck contribute to our achievements, we can learn to deal with them in making decisions.

The Success Equation helps us move toward this goal by:

- Establishing a foundation so we better understand skill and luck, and can pinpoint where each is most relevant
- Helping us develop the analytical tools necessary to understand skill and luck
- Offering concrete suggestions about how to take these findings and put them to work

Showcasing Mauboussin's trademark wit, insight, and analytical genius, The Success Equation is a must-read for anyone seeking to make better decisions--in business and in life.
Michael J. Mauboussin is an investment strategist and has been in the financial services industry for more than twenty-five years. He has also taught at the Columbia Graduate School of Business since 1993, and is on the board of trustees at the Santa Fe Institute. He is the author of two previous books, Think Twice: Harnessing the Power of Counterintuition and More Than You Know: Finding Financial Wisdom in Unconventional Places and is coauthor, with Alfred Rappaport, of Expectations Investing: Reading Stock Prices for Better Returns.
Product Details ISBN: 9781422184233
ISBN-10: 1422184234
Publisher: Harvard Business Review Press
Publication Date: November 6th, 2012
Pages: 320
Language: English

Mauboussin excels at explaining his ideas, many of which are based on complex neuroscience in accessible terms, using case studies and examples from investing decisions, college rankings, and hospital procedures.” Publishers Weekly

Advance Praise for The Success Equation

Philip Tetlock, Leonore Annenberg University Professor, Wharton School and School of Arts and Sciences, University of Pennsylvania; author, Expert Political Judgment
Mauboussin seems to know everything there is to know about how to skillfully disentangle skill from luck. He also knows how easy it is to botch the job and has great storiesfrom music studios to baseball dugouts to the New York Stock Exchangethat bring statistical abstractions to life.”

Howard Marks, Chairman and cofounder, Oaktree Capital Management; author, The Most Important Thing
In The Success Equation, Michael Mauboussin helps us understand the difference between skill and luck and, importantly, how to tell how much each contributed to a given outcome. He reminds us that in fields where luck plays a big part, like investing, outcomes are of limited relevance in assessing performance. And, indispensably, he points out how important it is for practitioners to develop an attitude of equanimity toward luck.’ I love that!”

James Montier, GMO; author, The Little Book of Behavioral Investing
The Success Equation is a brilliant and insightful book packed with interesting anecdotes and rigorous analysis. Anyone dealing in fields that blend some combination of luck and skillwhich is most of uswill find their understanding enhanced by reading it. The central role of process in such environments is often underestimated. This book helps redress the balance.”

Paul DePodesta, Vice President of Player Development and Scouting, New York Mets
Few people acknowledge or care to accept the central role that luck plays in our lives. Michael Mauboussin not only understands the separation between skill and luck, but more importantly, provides a mental framework to deal with the reality. This is an important read.”